Happy feast day!

​Happy feast day to my patron saint, St. Philomena! My life has been so blessed by her intercession and constant friendship. “Pax tecum Filumena!”

This Daughter of Light has been an example to so many people and a friend to all who call on her intercession. May we remember that she is Powerful with God and offer our prayers to her today as we celebrate her feast day!

St. Philomena, pray for us! 

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Apologies and Announcements

School, friends, and then finals just swept me up these last few months and kept me too busy to write, but summer is finally here and I have something exciting to announce!

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I’ll be working on my first novel, which I think I’ve mentioned before.  It is a Catholic (clean!) romance story about a princess and a prince :)  So please watch for announcements about that!  And watch for a few sneak peeks into my first novel!!!  It is my dearest hope to finish it very soon but I don’t know when EXACTLY that will be just yet, so hang in there with me!

Please keep sending your questions in here and watch for my updates this summer as I work on my novel!

Thank you!

Courtney C. Filomena Lee

Ask the Author (#6)

“Was the Emperor ever converted?  Even after she [Philomena] died?”  -Anne, age 19

Great question, thanks Anne!

Diocletian became very sick soon after St. Philomena’s martyrdom.  He became the first ever Roman emperor to willingly abdicate (step down) from the throne.  He believed someone else could do the job better than he could.

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Coin with Diocletian’s likeness

After he “retired,” he moved to the countryside where he lived for four more years.  His successors tore apart everything he had established during his reign and he despaired for his country and empire.  It is very possible that he committed suicide, but it is hard to say for sure.

I don’t think Diocletian ever converted, but we don’t know for sure!  I’m sure St. Philomena (and all of the other Christians he marytred) interceded for him in Heaven.  If he did undergo conversion, it is always possible that could have occurred in his last moments.

Thanks for your question!  If you’d like to submit a question and get an answer, please click here!  I love to hear from you, even if you don’t have a question!  Please be sure to check out the home page for a new review from author Katie Hartfiel!  I’m so honored to have been reviewed by such a wonderful author!  Also, keep your eyes out for updates about my long-awaited novel!  I’ve had extra time lately to work on it and I am going to release a portion of chapter one soon.  Follow my blog for updates so you don’t miss anything!!!

-Courtney C. Filomena Lee

Ask the Author (#5)

“What really initially inspired Philomena and her faith in Jesus?  Was it a prayer or a witness?”  -Clare, age 14

Amazing question!  Thanks Clare!

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I think it was both, in a way.  St. Philomena’s parents were converts to the faith and I’m sure they were excellent witnesses to their daughter.  They named her “Philomena” because it means, “daughter of light.”  Her name symbolizes the light she was to her parents, her people, and eventually the Emperor of Rome and the world.

St. Philomena’s prayer life would have been strong too.  She was able to depend on God in the face of the most difficult trials.  Someone taught her to pray from the heart, which I’m sure was a huge inspiration to the little girl.

St. Philomena had many sources of inspiration in her life, but I’m sure her relationship with Jesus was her biggest source of strength.

Thanks for your question!  If you’d like to submit a question and get an answer, please click here!

I survived Roe vs Wade

I am going to the March for Life for the first time tomorrow and I wanted to write about how much it means to me.

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With everything going on right now with the Right to Life movement and everything happening in Washington, I just want to say how grateful I am that I was given a chance to live.  My story is in the back of my book, but I’d like to take a minute to write about the fact that I was supposed to be aborted.

My mom was told near the beginning of her pregnancy that I was going to be born with Down syndrome.  Immediately the doctor and nurses she saw told her to get an abortion, not even thinking that my mom might want to keep me.  We all know how scary doctors can be at times – always delivering bad news and making it seem like the worst is about to happen.

As is common, Down syndrome was presented as a burden and a flaw.  My worth as a human being was not considered by the doctors.  They didn’t see me as a child of God (or if they did, they definitely didn’t tell my mom) who was flawless because of my likeness to the Creator.

My mom was fearless.  She changed doctors, finding one that was pro-life.  He didn’t tell her to have an abortion.  He helped her to have a healthy pregnancy (though he did still think there would be other issues with me – finding bubbles on my brain and ultimately predicting that I would be stillborn) and didn’t just tell her to get rid of the “problem.”

Every life has invaluable worth.  Think of the impact one life can have on the world, no matter how influential they are in our eyes.  Helping just one soul get to Heaven is an immeasurable accomplishment with eternal reward.

I am extremely grateful for my chance to live.  I hope that I’ve had some impact and that I will be able to live out the life God has planned for me for all eternity.  I am here for a purpose.  Today I pray for the mothers who are considering abortion and tomorrow I will march with thousands of others in hopes that one day this all will end.  Please pray for the unborn especially tomorrow!

-Courtney C. Filomena Lee

Ask the Author (#4)

“How hard was it to write dialogue in your book and how did you accomplish it?” -Virginia, age 15

Wow, I really love this question!!!  :)  Thank you, Virginia!

I was thirteen when I wrote St. Philomena’s story.  My family had urged me for years to write about St. Philomena, but I put them off for a long time.  Finally, I gave in and told them I would write it when I was thirteen, the same age St. Philomena was when she was martyred.  Because I was the same age as St. Philomena, it was easier to write from the perspective of a teen girl.

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I think I was about 10 when this was taken with my picture of St. Philomena from her shrine in Italy.

Having a personal relationship with St. Philomena helped a lot.  When I was younger and I would pray to her, sometimes I could hear her reply in my heart.  Reading the account of her life that she gave to Sr. Lucia in the 1800’s also helped me see from her point of view.

I know that St. Philomena had to be pretty spunky, considering all she did in standing up to her parents and Emperor Diocletian.  I tried to make that spunkiness come through in her words, thoughts, and actions.  It helped that I’m a bit stubborn myself!  :)

Writing St. Philomena’s words was a lot of fun (unlike all the research!).  She definitely prompted me along at times.  It sort of felt like she was just sitting with me over a cup of coffee and telling me her story while I typed.  I hope that it reads like she is talking to you, because I wanted those who read it to feel the same way that I felt when writing her story.  I always refer to her as my “little buddy” and I just tried to write the words of the girl that I’ve gotten to know and love!

Thanks for your question!  If you’d like to submit a question and get an answer, please click here!

-Courtney C. Filomena Lee

Dead Theologians Society Talk -1.17.2017-

Last night I had the opportunity to speak to an amazing group of teens gathered at the local Dead Theologians Society.

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The church we were in was lit only with candles, which reminded me of how the early Christians must have felt, meeting in secret.  :)  There were so many great teens who came out to hear about St. Philomena and her message of fortitude and chastity!

It was a wonderful night of fellowship, prayer, and fun!  We have a lot of new questions for Ask the Author, which I will start posting soon!  Please follow my blog over on the right hand side of the page to get updates!

A big thank you to the core team, Margaret, John Paul, and Alex, for all of your hard work and dedication to this group!  I was so blessed to be invited!

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Thank you to all the teens who came last night and were so welcoming!  I am praying to St. Philomena for all of you!

-Courtney C. Filomena Lee